Sun-Savvy Info

Summertime. It’s almost here. Fresh displays featuring sunwear certainly boost summer sales, and so does education about the importance of protecting eyes from the elements.

Here are a few tips and topics to address to help sunwear sales sizzle while keeping patients safe this summer season.

Sky High

Be sure to explain that sunwear is for all day, not just for high noon. Though that’s when the sun is directly overhead, it takes a few hours to heat up, so that’s why the hottest time of day is somewhere between 3-5 p.m. It’s also part of the reason those sunglasses need to stay put from morning through the end of the day.

Summer Safety

Safe lenses are just as important as sound frames. According to Prevent Blindness (, for kids under age 14, water and pool activities are most likely to cause eye-related injuries. For older teens, baseball is the culprit. This is good information to share with parents as well as coaches and families whose kids are on sports teams.

How Dry I Am

That song title may date back to the ’30s, but sun-related vision problems have, if anything, increased since then. According to the American Optometric Association (, Joshua Watt, O.D., past chair of its Sports and Performance Vision Committee explains a few of the many summer sun considerations, especially at higher altitudes. “Colorado is especially dry during the summer and with high UV exposure due to the elevation, sunglasses are essential,” he says. “A good pair of sunglasses can really help with dry eyes, especially when doing any physical activity outside. The wrapping and coverage of a good pair of sunglasses can really make a significant difference.”

In-Office Education

Talking to patients is critical, but your waiting room is a great place to start the sun story. For example, take advantage of and order brochures, posters, and handouts that stress potential problems associated with sun exposure. Here are just a couple of resources.

• Two pamphlets, available to American Optometric Association members in packets of 100: “Protect Your Eyes From the Sun” and “Sunglasses – Healthy Eyes Are Always in Style.”

• Downloadable “Get SunSmart” posters and “Test Your Sun Savvy” infographics from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (

What have you done to educate your patients, young and old, about tempering their fun in the sun? Tell us about it and share in the conversation on Facebook here.

Erinn Morgan

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